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Showing 1-10 of 20 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 36 reviews
on April 25, 2015
Wow. I bought this a while ago, but only make Indian a few times a year although I love the cuisine and pick up dinner quite often.I have a couple of other Indian cookbooks but this is my new favorite. I made four recipes from the book tonight - Mary Ann's Lentil Soup, the beef and vegetable stew, the peas in cream sauce, and the coconut rice. Two things in particular impressed me. First, having some basics like cumin, coriander and turmeric at home, my shopping list to make these three dishes was an astonishingly short list of easy to find ingredients available from my suburban grocery store. Second, my wife and I agreed that all 4 dishes were excellent!

I dont think that I have felt this good about 4 new dishes that I have tried on a given night, well, ever! The soup was complex and more interesting and pleasant than the few lentil soups that I have tried previously. The peas were incredibly easy and had a very interesting smoky flavor that was a nice complement to the other dishes. The beef stew was delicious - incredibly tender beef with deep, complex, flavor including enough heat to be interesting but nothing to put off most guests. The rice was flavorful too and married well with the stew.

All in all, 4/4 recipes I will use again, and I will be going back to the well for more. I highly recommend this book.
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on December 4, 2011
American Masala is the second book in Suvir Saran's trilogy of excellent cookbooks. It dovetails wonderfully as the bridge between his first book, Indian Home Cooking, which highlights the flavors of real Indian cooking from the author's childhood and teen years, to his brand-new masterpiece, Masala Farm, which celebrates the seasons of life and the kitchen on his upstate New York farm.

There's something for everyone in this cookbook! If you're tired of the same old meatloaf, chicken, and fish, wake up your taste buds with Tamarind-Glazed Meatloaf, Parmesan-Spiced Chicken Cutlets, or Coconut-Braised Salmon. Not a veggie-lover? You'll be shocked (I was) when you are taking seconds of the Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Almonds, the Cardamom-Roasted Cauliflower, and the Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. If you're looking for adventure with ingredients and names you've never heard of, try the Potato and Pea Poha or Imm Jaddara. Need a stunning dessert to impress at an office party or potluck? How about a Pistachio-and-Cardamom Pound Cake with Lemon Icing or a Toffee Cake that's out-of-this-world rich and delicious? And my absolute favorite of all is a twist on French Toast, using raw sugar that melts into its own crunchy, irresistible syrup. That recipe alone is worth the price of the book!

American Masala looks like a coffee-table showpiece, complete with beautiful pictures and enlightening narratives, but it's so much more. This book belongs in the kitchen, with the pages getting splashed and stained, the spine broken at favorite and oft-used recipes. I highly recommend it!

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on December 7, 2008
American Masala has enriched the masala of my family in wonderful ways. My sister, Gail, who is a good cook but never takes the time, was given American Masala by my niece. Gail was so inspired by by the photos in the cookbook, that she came early to my house on Easter to prepare the corn bread and the red potatoes. The three of us had a memorable time preparing those dishes - it was the first I had ever seen my niece cook! I was their sous chef and loved every minute of it.
Then, and perhaps best of all, the fussy eaters in the family would not stay out of the potatoes until dinner! Even my mother, who hates richly flavored foods, loved both dishes. My heart sang, as the reason I ever took up a wooden spoon was total boredom with my mother's WASPy efforts in the kitchen.
All this totally reinforces a point I always talk about on my cooking show - that food and the kitchen are where many special family memories are cooked up. Memories that last a lifetime and beyond.
I haved thoroughly enjoyed using American Masala, too!
The recipes are well written and easy to follow. The meatloaf recipe alone is worth the purchase price. It's moist and delicious enough for company. And I've never been one to get excited about meatloaf!
Also loved the Shrimp Poha Paella - it's different, easy and absolutely scrumptious. Even the fussy teenagers in my family loved it.
I've been a caterer for 20 years, but this cookbook is teaching me new things about how to enhance the flavor of food with spices. I have tried eight different recipes so far, and loved them all.
You can't go wrong with this book.
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on November 7, 2010
This book made for some great twists on American food (or, twists on Indian food, if you would rather!). I made some recipes as suggested, but ended up using variations of a lot of them. The book served as a means of broadening my repertoire of Indian food - the spicy/sweet chicken wings recipe from the book has now become a staple appetizer for any party food. Another recipe that has also drawn acclaim from everyone I have made it for is the Salmon with Tomato Chutney. It works just as well for fish other than Salmon, too!

I use the book as a reference when cooking, but also, if I just want to read about cooking techniques. I have learned some tricks from this author. I recommend this book to anybody looking to try to add spice to classic American fare, or just to read about interesting combination of food and spices.
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on April 11, 2012
Lovely cookbook to read, own, hold, and, most of all, cook from. Saran is a lively writer and is not afraid to innovate. I've made several dishes now from his book and have found them all fun and tasty. The goan shrimp curry is particularly good. My only quibble is with the recipe for basmati rice. Nearly every cookbook (except for one of Madhur Jaffrey's that I can recall) says to use one part rice to two parts water. I've never, ever found this standard proportion to yield anything but mush. If I use good quality Tilda rice and a heavy dutch-oven, then I never need more than 750 grams of water for 500 grams of rice. At least Saran doesn't recommend pre-soaking the rice, something that Jaffrey was a fan of, once upon a time. Pre-soaked rice leads to mushy rice, too.
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on June 23, 2011
I first read this book three years ago when I checked it out from the library. I've been thinking about it ever since, and finally allowed myself the luxury of purchasing this lovely book. I'm an avid reader and cook, so this book is the best of both worlds. There are recipes on nearly every page that I can't wait to savor! And, as a member of a bookclub, I'm going to suggest we read it soon--some lovely snippets of information about the author's life in India, food customs there, small glimpses into transitioning to life in NYC. Highly recommended!
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on August 4, 2017
great recipes terrific photos love his books
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on June 4, 2011
This is a superb book. I bought it for my husband a couple of years ago since he is into 'fusion food' and at that time i didn't know much about the author. 2 years of trying out a bunch of different recipes from the book has made me realize this is a great book and a great chef. Nothing I have made so far has been less than excellent and his style of writing is easy to follow. Great book !
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on July 12, 2011
I have many, many cook books and have decided to not buy any (many) more. I go to the library and get them to bring in books and I go through them and pick out the occasional recipe. After reading American Masala i cooked a number of recipes (love Goan Shrimp) and decided I needed to buy it.

Very nice.
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on August 15, 2016
Great book... American cooking with an Indian flair.
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